The huge rise in mobile and communications technology is transforming how businesses operate and the way in which we interact with our employees, customers and suppliers. It can be said that the ‘traditional’ office set-up no longer exists as employees are increasingly demanding the ability to work wherever and whenever they need to. Even on workplace premises, mobile devices such as smartphones, Android tablets and iPads are beginning to replace the traditional enterprise desktop.

We live in an ‘app-orientated’ world, with mobile apps entrenched in our daily lives and routines. There is now an app for almost every task we carry out. As a consequence, the benefits of mobile apps are now extending from our personal setting and in to our working lives. Recent research suggests that BYOD and the enterprise mobility market size is estimated to grow from $35.10 billion in 2016 to $73.30 billion by 2021. Gartner also forecast that mobile phone sales will reach 2.1 billion units by 2019, which will fuel demand for apps in the enterprise setting that meet the high performance and usability of consumer apps.


Apps to Support Mobile Working

To meet the needs of the mobile workforce and improve their use experience, IFS launched Touch Apps in 2011. A series of smartphone apps for Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS and Microsoft Windows Phone platforms. Touch Apps are designed to offer a seamless, hassle free user experience for your mobile workforce. Each app focuses on very clear, easy to compete tasks, presenting only the important information, and incorporates features such as GPS, voice recording and photo capture.

Using innovative cloud technology, IFS Touch Apps deliver real-time mobile solutions to IFS Applications users, regardless of their location. Rather than having the apps talking directly to a specific version or installation of IFS Applications, the apps are available through the IFS Cloud. This unique approach makes it easy for users to access the apps themselves and for IT to enable app usage with strong security built-in.
Current IFS Touch Apps Devices Availability

As an IFS Touch Apps user, you will be aware of the many benefits associated with being able to access IFS Applications from a mobile device:

  • Business processes and workflows run faster and smoother since there is less waiting time for people to take action, for example, to authorise a purchase. This especially applies to processes that frequently wait for busy travelling managers to respond.
  • Faster running processes result in increased internal and external service levels.
  • Increased productivity through making use of otherwise unproductive time to clear away some administrative tasks.
  • Managers and employees will be more “plugged in” to the processes that drive the business.
  • Smart use of device features like camera and GPS positioning can significantly improve certain business processes by capturing more information.

However, despite enjoying the freedom Touch App bring, you might be looking for ways to get more out of your investment. The suite of Touch Apps you are currently using might not quite meet your individual needs. You might be looking to tailor a particular app functionality wise, or there may be an app that is currently not supported on your mobile platform or by the version of IFS Applications you are currently running. This is where Cooper Software can help.

As an IFS Touch Apps partner, we are the primary partner based in the United Kingdom who can support IFS Applications customers already using Touch Apps, helping you to get the very best out of your investment and support your mobile working strategy. Taking advantage of IFS’ technical knowledge and expertise and using our own development capabilities, we have the authority to develop additional mobile or web platforms for existing IFS Touch Apps. We also have the ability to extend the functionality of existing apps in the suite and develop entirely new apps.


5 ways Cooper Software can help Touch Apps Users:

1. Extending the IFS Touch Apps Platform 

Many IFS customers benefit from using the off-the-shelf IFS Touch Apps which are available via a number of mobile platforms. But what if you work on a different platform and the app you want is not available for your chosen device? For example, the Audit Companion and Incident Reporter are currently only available on Android, yet you really need it to be available on iOS. When a client requires a solution that does not exist on a specific platform, Cooper Software have the skills and experience to develop and create the apps that you require on the platform you need. Using the functionality of your preferred app we can develop it to operate on your desired platform.

2. Supporting IFS Touch App Versions

As illustrated in the IFS Touch Apps availability table, each Touch App is aligned with a particular version of IFS Applications. For instance, IFS Notify Me is only currently available on IFS Applications 8 and 9. If you are running IFS Applications 7.5 then, at present, this app is out of reach. As a Touch Apps Partner, Cooper Software has the ability to back port the application, making it compatible with the version of IFS Applications that you require. Furthermore, where a client’s touch app is no longer supported because they are using an early version of IFS Applications, for instance, version 7.5, we can offer support and services.

3. Extending App Functionality

Often a customer is using a particular IFS Touch App which, despite meeting their needs in relation to the process it fulfils, has one or two areas they would like to alter in terms of functionality. We can enhance apps to achieve the desired functionality, matching the app to your business and user needs.

4. Creating bespoke Touch Apps

One of the key benefits of being a Touch Apps partner is that we have the capability to create business solutions through the development of new Touch Apps. We can do this on any of the mobile platforms. By working closely with our IFS customers, we gain true insight into what they are looking for in relation to apps and then seek to develop appropriate apps across your target business areas, improving productivity and providing a competitive advantage.

5. Touch App Server Installation and Consulting

To activate Touch Apps, customers need to purchase and install the IFS Touch Apps server. For those customers who have Touch Apps but have been unable to install and configure them, Cooper Software’s consulting team can assist and work you to get your Touch Apps solution set up and ready for use.

We can also work with you to conduct a full evaluation and review of your Touch Apps needs, establishing the insights of what apps are relevant for your business and processes, what mobile platform and version of IFS Applications are required. We can develop a Touch Apps strategy for your business, helping you to configure and install the necessary apps which will help support your mobile workforce in their day-to-day activities.


Cooper Software, A Trusted Touch Apps Partner

As an IFS Touch Apps partner, we have invested heavily in our Touch Apps partnership, working closely with IFS to develop our understanding of the IFS architecture and its supporting technology. This has enabled us to use this wealth of knowledge to fully train out development team in order to create our own infrastructure and develop our own apps. We have a full-time development team who have successfully built apps for IFS customers including Olympus KeyMed, covering areas such as HR, finance, sales, time and attendance, approvals, data capture and reporting. We also developed the IFS Notify Me Touch App for the Blackberry platform.

To enable the straightforward creation of bespoke mobile apps for IFS, we have created the Cooper Software SDK, which has been designed using modern development techniques and best practice. The Cooper Software SDK™ allows apps to be developed for IFS, without the need to modify the core system in any way, ensuring the future upgrade path is not complicated further. It integrates completely with your existing IFS system and will not invalidate any underlying data. It comes with pre-developed mobile templates and automatically generates code, using APIs, enabling rapid and easy deployment of mobile apps on top of IFS. The SDK provides quick, clean automatic generation of solution framework and code that allows seamless and secure integration with IFS. The SDK will automatically build applications for any version of IFS and for multiple target platforms.

If you are an existing IFS Touch Apps user who is looking to get more out of your Touch Apps investment, either in terms of capability, usability or functionality, contact us on +44 (0)1383 840700 or fill in the online form.


Make it Work™